HT: Benatia puts Juve ahead

Medhi Benatia bundled a corner over the line to give Juventus the half-time lead against his old club Roma, with Wojciech Szczesny also decisive.

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This was a top of the table showdown between second and fourth, along with an ancient rivalry that goes back to the very beginnings of Italian football. Gigi Buffon, Mattia De Sciglio and Benedikt Howedes were injured, but Max Allegri dropped Paulo Dybala for the third Serie A match running, despite his goal and assist in the Coppa Italia midweek. There were starts for ex-Roma men Wojciech Szczesny, Medhi Benatia and Miralem Pjanic. Eusebio Di Francesco only missed Gregoire Defrel and Rick Karsdorp.

Roma have lost their last six Serie A trips to Turin, managing one point since a 2-1 victory in January 2010.

Juan Cuadrado and Mario Mandzukic returned from injury, the Colombian’s first touch letting him down on a Gonzalo Higuain through ball and allowing Federico Fazio to block.

Mandzukic’s glancing header whistled wide from a Blaise Matuidi cross, as did Higuain’s, while Pipita chested down a long ball and Fazio timed his interception perfectly to prod it away.

Juve took the lead with a chaotic goal from Benatia. Giorgio Chiellini’s header from the Pjanic corner was brilliantly parried by Alisson, who also turned the Benatia rebound on to the bar, but could do nothing on the defender’s third attempt.

Higuain tried to pounce on a misunderstanding between Alisson and Fazio, going down under the goalkeeper’s challenge, but penalty appeals were waved away.

Roma were reminded on Szczesny’s reflexes when Diego Perotti rolled across for Stephan El Shaarawy to come sliding in, forcing the goalkeeper into a desperate save.

Radja Nainggolan blasted over on the half-volley and Mandzukic fired straight at Alisson.

Juventus 1-0 Roma (Half-Time)

Benatia 19 (J)

Juventus: Szczesny; Barzagli, Benatia, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Pjanic, Khedira, Matuidi; Cuadrado, Higuain, Mandzukic

Roma: Alisson; Florenzi, Manolas, Fazio, Kolarov; Nainggolan, De Rossi, Strootman; El Shaarawy, Dzeko, Perotti

Ref: Tagliavento 

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